Manistee grapplers split in first home meet 

Manistee’s Hakeem Culberson takes down his opponent from Holton in the Chippewas’ first home wrestling meet of the season Wednesday. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Manistee’s Hakeem Culberson takes down his opponent from Holton in the Chippewas’ first home wrestling meet of the season Wednesday. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Manistee wrestling split in the 2017-18 season’s home opener on Wednesday night.

The Chippewas defeated Holton 40-33 in the opener, and fell to Shelby 45-18 in the final match of the night. The win was the team’s second of the young season.

Despite the scores, Manistee voided five matches in each one, and went 7-6 overall in contested matches.

“We’re making progress. We had some good wins tonight against some tough opponents. The kids that were losing were wrestling better in certain situations,” Manistee coach Darrell Burchfield said.

Isaac Reynolds (130 lbs.), Keaton Ensley (145 lbs.) and Connor Barke (152 lbs.) were the three Chippewas to go 2-0 on the night.

“What I liked tonight is that the guys came out and were aggressive, instead of being passive. We were in all of the matches,” Burchfield said.

Bryson Jensen (160 lbs.) wrestled well twice, winning 20-4 in his first match against Holton, but he was pinned against Shelby’s Nick Felt in the second match. Felt was a Division 4 state runner-up last season. Jensen had chances, but couldn’t quite close Felt down.

Makayla Alcayde (103 lbs.) also went 1-1, with her loss against Shelby as well. She fell 10-8, but rallied to score 5 of those points in the final minute and make the match interesting.

Alvaro Sarabia (135 lbs.), Hakeem Culberson (189 lbs.) and Raymond Smith (285 lbs.) each had one win.

Sarabia nearly won in his opener against Holton, falling 9-7, after being up for part of the match. Culberson’s win was a big one against Holton, where he won 24-9.

“The whole month, the month of December is about identifying what our problems and weaknesses are,” Burchfield said. “The month of January is about fixing those problems so that we’re ready to go in February. That’s what we’re working on. We’re identifying the issues. We’re starting to improve now, but it takes time.”

Shelby defeated Ravenna in one match, 55-21, and Holton beat Ravenna 42-30.

Manistee will be back on Saturday in Hart at 10 a.m.

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Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or bfogg@pioneergroup.com.

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